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If it seemed like everyone on your Instagram feed spent the summer of 2021 on the Amalfi Coast, well... you aren’t wrong. From this year’s class couple, Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker to just about every supermodel, there’s no denying that the glamorous coast of Italy was the place to be. But here’s the good news: you don’t have to be one half of a famous power couple, or famous at all, to have a fabulous vacation. Here, our guide to the Amalfi Coast, including where to get the best authentic limoncello and where to go to lunch if you want to spot Beyoncé and Jay-Z (or just eat some really good pasta).
WHERE TO STAY
The first question you’ll have to consider when planning your trip is which town to stay in. Most guides will direct you between the big hitters of Amalfi and Positano, but the best bet here is to stay outside of these tourist-heavy spots. For a true luxury stay that gives you the best of a small city vibe and access to the big sites, look no further than Casa Angelina, located in the Positano-adjacent city of Praiano.
To put it simply, Casa Angelina is one of the best hotel experiences you’ll ever have. Located just off the coast’s windy main road, the hotel overlooks the coast to provide stunning views from just about every vantage point. The decor is simple, modern, and clean with spots of quirky colorful art. Be sure to grab breakfast at their rooftop restaurant which offers a buffet, complete with fresh brioche at every table and a daily chef’s special pastry. Then head down to the pool which features both those insane views and a mini grove of lemon trees. From there, you can head down to the One Fire Beach Club (more on that later) which is easily accessible via a private elevator. At night, grab dinner or a cocktail at their casual-leaning Seascape Restaurant and Bar.
The town of Praiano boasts a small town charm, with plenty of small restaurants and local hotels along the main drag. And for a trip to the bustling Positano: Angelina offers a free private shuttle every hour which will get you there in 10 minutes or less.
WHERE TO EAT
First thing’s first: when you’re in Amalfi, be sure to eat lots of seafood and plenty of pasta.
You’re on vacation, so long, leisurely lunches are encouraged. There’s no better place to do this than D’Adolfo, a beachfront restaurant that’s only accessible by boat (don’t worry, they offer a free shuttle to lunch guests from the main shores of Positano). It’s likely you’ve already heard of the hotspot (or at the very least, seen its distinctive red fish logo), but we’re here to assure you: it’s worth the hype. The waiters walk around the pebbled floors barefoot and never miss a chance to offer you another glass of white wine with fresh peaches. Don’t skip the vongole here — eating it on a beach makes it seem all that much fresher. For a lunch that doesn’t require sea travel, try Chez Black which, while in the main part of Positano, is situated right off the beach. Grab a bottle of their house wine, a pizza to split, and hope for a Bey and Jay sighting (rumor has it that it’s their favorite local spot).
For dinner, there’s no better time to check out the famed Le Sireneuse restaurant. In addition to three great bar options, La Sponda offers some of the best dishes (and views) you could hope for. Get there early to try to snag an open-air, sea-facing table and settle in with a bottle of something bubbly. For dinner, we suggest anything raw to start. With entrees, you can’t go wrong with any pasta dish, and make sure you get the tiramisu to finish.
WHERE TO DRINK
If you’re in Italy in the summer, you’re going to want an Aperol Spritz, and you’re going to want to do it near a body of water. In our opinion, there’s no better place to do this than One Fire Beach Club.
Built into the cliffs, this beach club may not look like much more than a bunch of evenly spaced beach loungers overlooking the Mediterranean, but really, it’s the setting for a day to remember. You’ll want to set aside a full day to soak it all in, take a dip in the sea (they have plenty of rafts available for a nice float), and dance to whatever techno beats the DJ is spinning that day.
Now, what to drink. The obvious answer here is, of course, the Aperol Spritz, which comes in a giant goblet and the perfect shade of orange (which just so happens to match the club’s beach umbrellas), but honorable mention goes to a crisp glass of Prosecco adorned with a cherry.
WHAT TO DO
Here is where we’d typically tell you where to shop for the best local treasures and vintage finds. While Positano boasts a good number of local leather shoe cobblers who can make you custom sandals in a matter of minutes, we’d otherwise advise skipping the fashion in favor of something much more special: handmade limoncello.
Lemons, you’ll soon come to find out, are all but the unofficial symbol of the Amalfi Coast, so what better way to spend a day than doing like the locals and tasting some authentic limoncello. There is no one better for the job than Mario Anastasio, owner of Il Gusto Della Costa Sas, a local distillery in the middle of Praiano. There, you’ll find not only a shop filled with just about every flavor of limoncello available, but the facilities where Anastasio hand-makes his limoncello, all sourced from local lemon trees. On any given day, chances are you’ll find the man himself there, who will happily give you a tour of how the process is done, as well as plenty of samples. Be prepared to leave lots of room in your suitcase to take a bottle or four home.